Thursday, September 30, 2010

Spiderweb blocks and a sneak peak

In my excitement to share my finished quilt top yesterday, I forgot to add my latest quilting bee pics!  October is my month in the Simply Strings quilting bee, and I chose spiderweb blocks.  I wanted to pick a block that uses solids, so that when its my month for the solid bee (not till June), can request the same style blocks and then combine both sets into one quilt.

I chose an array of blues, greens, yellows and grays

I ended up omitting the palest green, it was a little to drab for the rest of the colors...

Can't wait to see what the girls come up with!!

And just in case your curious...The value quilt back has been made and I spent the evening on my hands and knees pin basting the layers together!

This is my first attempt at pin basting, I have used basting spray on all my previous quilts, and while quick and simple, I have been less than impressed with small puckers showing up on the back of anything larger than a crib sized quilt.  Cross your fingers, hopefully the quilting goes smoothly!


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Value quilt top

My Value quilt quilt top is complete!  168 squares, 336 triangle pieces are are complete!  I could not be happier with the end result, and am so glad I decided on this layout.  It really makes the color value pop and my worries of not being able to tell light from dark are no more.

Again, I followed Katie's tutorial over at sewkatiedid and ended with this beautiful result.  The finished top measures 60 1/2 inches x 70 1/2 inches, a perfect couch/lap quilt!

If you haven't realized by now, I love love love color, and I think this is by far my favorite quilt by a mile that I have made.  I'm glad it's going to my mom, as we live close to one another, so I can always visit to see it.  I hope she loves it as much as I do.

Im thinking of a pieced back, but I'm thinking something fairly simple, since the front is quite busy.

As for quilting it, I think this quilt needs straight lines.  I'm thinking of outlining the diamond shapes with quilting 1/4 inch from the separation between light and dark...thoughts??  suggestions??  I'm not totally sold on it yet, but I'm not sure what else to do...

Happy quilting!

I'll be linking this post to Amylouwho's Sew and Tell and Lit and Laundry's Finished for Friday...I consider getting this quilt top pieced a finish!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Oh baby!

I love making these bibs!  I have a baby shower to go to tommorow, and wanted to whip up some bibs to add to my baby wreath I had made, so I again used Jaime's patchwork bib tutorial over at sewshesews and created these beauties!  I used Alexander Henry's 2d zoo with some Amy Butler dots and some random dots I found in my stash, a jungle print that I had used on a previous quilt and (my favorite!) the awesome owl print from Ann Kelle's Urban Zoologie line. 

These are the backs of the bibs, The green argyle is Ann Kelle from the Remix line.  I know these are leaning toward being "boyish", and mom and dad aren't finding out what they are having, but I just couldn't resist using the 2d zoo and owl print, its not too boyish, right?? 

I put together this baby wreath using diapers and a floral wreath and some baby toys, pacifiers, small bottles, onsies, supersoft stuffed elephant, and of course my bibs.  I also found these adoreable wooden painted jungle animals at Pat Catans on one of my trips, and thought they belonged, so I hot glued them onto a few of the ribbons I had used to tie on the baby things to the wreath itself. 

Cant wait to give this to the mama-to-be tommorow!  Hope she likes!

In case you were wondering, I am making progress on the Value quilt, here's a sneak peak...

I have about a third of the quilt top assembled, I had to stop to working on it to work on the baby stuff this afternoon, which was a welcome relief actually, I think I was starting to go cross-eyed staring at all those half square triangles!!

It's comming together nicely, shouldn't be long now until I have a quilt top to show!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I am mesmerized.  I seriously can't stop staring at it!  I still need about 48 more blocks to fill up my design wall, so far theres 120 half square blocks, 120 DIFFERENT fabrics so far, that are trimmed to 5 inch blocks, so when sewn together I will have 4 1/2 inch half square triangles. 

In other news, I was so excited when I received my Joann's mailer a few days ago, and its coupon commotion!  I love this, they give you a million 40% coupons to use on anything thats not already on sale, now of course this is when all their fabrics just so happen to be 30% off already, which negates the use of the coupons...BUT the Kona solids are never on sale!!  The Joann's near me is a supercenter which has a pretty decent selection of Kona solids, so I stopped in the other day and refilled my solid stash.

I bought 2 yards each of Kona Grass Green, Kona Chartreuse, Kona Chocolate, Kona Charcoal Gray, Kona Ash, Kona Purple, Kona Orange, Kona Candy Blue, Kona Turquoise, Kona Candy Pink and Kona Bright Pink.  I also picked up a bunch of Kona White, so I should be set for a while!

Well, I'm off to go stare at my design wall some more...seriously, I'm already starting to get slight separation anxiety from parting with this beauty, as its a Christmas gift for my mom. 


Monday, September 20, 2010

Just because

Anniversary flowers at work from my wonderful hubby :)

Two years ago today we said I Do...

Just because.  Happy Anniversary babe, love you :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Quilty and non quilty goodness

I finally was able to get back to my sewing machine and make some progress on my value quit!  I started to sew my squares together to make half square triangles, and was getting incredibly antsy to see what my quilt was going to look like, so I sewed and cut and pressed about a third of the squares and used them to start playing around on my design wall, I couldn't resist! 

I was thinking I wanted to arrange my blocks this way, in squares, but after seeing it on the wall, I didn't think it showed off the differences in value as effectively as possible, and I can already see this being very difficult to get all the half squares to match up...
I think this does a much better job with the effect I was going for!  I'm love love loving it.  And, its much easier to to get the colors to line up right!  I'm excited to get more of this quilt completed!  I still need to square up my blocks, but I was just itchin to get this on the wall to see what it was going to look like.

In other non-quilty goodness...
Aside from quilting and sewing, I discovered knitting last year as well.  Now, as of right now, I can only knit things in straight lines, no increasing, decreasing or knitting in the round, so I'm pretty much limited to scarves.  Which is fine by me! 
I love that knitting is so portable, so its the perfect vegging in front of the tv, or sitting in the waiting room project.  I've been working on this for the past few weeks anytime that I was just sitting around.  (I also find that it deters the night-time tv munchies, because your hands are occupied!)
I love this yarn, so so pretty.  Very easy to make and such a bold effect!  The secret is finding the graduated (spelling??) yarn that gradually changes from color to color- I made one of these scarves last year for myself with expensive yarn from a yarn shop, but imagine my surprise when I found that Lion Brand now makes yarn like this on one of my weekly Joann trips!  If you buy two different skeins of different colors and then stripe them every two rows, you get something like this beauty.  
I like to get one skein of a bright bold combination and then a skein of something a little more neutral ( my neutral here was a skein of variegated greens) to make sure the outcome isn't too wild.

Anyways, I'm off to enjoy football Sunday, go Steelers!  More progress to come on the Value quilt soon...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fabric. Cutting. Machine.

Whew!  My rotary cutter has certainly gotten a workout!  I've been cutting 5 1/2 inch squares for my next quilt.  I have cut 1 square of almost each fabric I own, for a total of 100 squares so far, with a stack of about 20 more fabrics to cut.  I couldn't believe that I had that much DIFFERENT fabric!  Shhh...our secret, we wont tell my husband...

I'm planning on using these squares to make half square triangles to make up my own value quilt!  I'm basing my quilt on the tutorial that Katie at Sew Katie Did put together, but mostly using pictures as my inspiration.  I'm torn on if I want the layout to look like this or like this.  Hmmm decisions decisions.  I'm really leaning toward the second layout, but I'm afraid that mine wont come out nearly as nice as that one!

Here's my piles so far, just like Katie said, I sorted them into 3 piles, light, medium and dark.  Let me tell you, I doubted myself the whole way, not sure I was sorting them properly.  I need a little more light fabric I think to balance the piles out, so I may have to double up on some of my lighter print fabrics to fatten up that stack.  I'll be starting to sew these bad boys together soon, and then the fun of playing around with the layout on my design wall...stay tuned!

In other exciting news (well, it was for me anyway) my labels I ordered came in the mail  today!  Yay for surprises in the mailbox :)  I hadn't really been labeling my quilts, so as I was perusing Etsy a week or so ago, I came across MommieMadeIt's store where she was selling personalized sew-in fabric labels!  She has HUNDREDS of label layouts to choose from, I highly recommend.

This was what I decided on, I wanted something nice and simple with just a little bit of style, and voila!  I'm so excited to sew these on some of my projects I have laying around that I'm waiting to give away!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

think pink

Think Pink!  As I mentioned in my last post, this set of placemats and tablerunner (along with the two clutches) are being donated to a charity luncheon for breast cancer to be auctioned off in October.  The lady who is hosting the event gave me free reign to design how I like, with the only stipulation being that it had to be pink!


Heres a picture of the set on my own dining room table.  The runner measures 12 1/2 x 48 inches and each placemat is appx 14 x 18 inches.

This was my first try at string piecing and I used the tutorial from Film in the Fridge and couldn't be happier with the result!  i started by cutting my paper squares to 6 1/2 inches and then cutting what seemed like a bazillion strips of fabric in varying widths ranging from 1 inch to 1 1/2 inchs wide then kind of used an assembly line type system to add my strips.

I just love this effect, and have a quilt in this style in my ever growing "quilting to-do list"!  Maybe not all in pink next time...

The placemats are much simpler in style, but I'm pleased with the look.  I pieced together some 2 1/2 inch strips in pink and then bordered them in white. 

Apparently my machine does not have a problem with light pink thread...its apparently quite picky sometimes, as I found when I tried to quilt the whale baby quilt in light green thread and my machine was not having it!  As for quilting, I again used good ole faithful and stippled both the tablerunner and placemats.

The binding on both is a pink with tiny white polka dots, and the back is a solid kona in bright pink. 

Can't wait to donate these so they can get to their new owners...Dolly, I'm not sure how they will be auctioned off, I was assuming they would go as a set, but however she decides to organize things would be fine with! 

Friday, September 10, 2010


Slow work for sure this week.  If only I had nothing to do but work on quilty things all day!  Ugh, unfortunately thats not quite the way things work, but I finally finished the table runner quilt top and accompanying placemat tops.

Hopefully through the weekend I'll get these puppies basted and quilted so they can go to their new owner for the raffle next week!  Finished pics to come....

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fun with Purse frames

After loving how my experiments with using purse frames went a few weeks ago, I really wanted to track down some more frames at a better price than the ones I found at Joann's.  Lo and behold I was able to find a shop on etsy from 3dpatternpaper that sells all kinds of shapes and sizes of purse frames at a really really decent price too (shipping was a little high, as they came from China, but even after figuring in shipping to the per frame cost was still very reasonable.)

I whipped up this little number just wanting to experiment with a good shape for the frame, and I couldn't be happier!  The frame is 7 inches long and the bottom measures appx 8.5 inches.  The perfect little clutch to fit cell phone, keys, lip gloss, money and ID (I've tried, and its fits great!)  I'm loving this fabric and and can't wait for an outfit to take this out on the town!

On a different subject, last week an acquaintance of mine asked if I would be interested in donating some items for a breast cancer luncheon she was hosting.  Of course I said yes, and she told me that the only requirements were that whatever I made was pink.  We decided on a table runner and placemat set, but after playing around with these purse frames, I decided to throw together 2 pink patchwork clutches.

I used the 7 inch purse frame for the larger clutch, so the dimensions are similar to the blue/black fabric print clutch, and the smaller frame is 5 inches, and the bottom measures appx 6.5 inches. 

While on my weekly trip to Joann's (sad, I know) I came across this pink ribbon fabric, and thought how perfect for the linings!  So both clutches are lined with the pink ribbon fabric.

As for the table runner, I dug into my scrap bin of pinks and started cutting strips of different widths to make a bunch of foundation pieced string blocks to string together into a table runner.

Theres certainly more where that came from, but I was getting antsy doing all that cutting...I wanted to sew!

Heres the beginnings up on my design wall...I'm diggin it! 

More to come soon, Happy Labor Day!!

Sunday, September 5, 2010


I received my fabric from Krista in our solid colors bee for September.  She sent along some Kona solids in pink, yellow and white.  She requested pinwheels of any kind measuring 10.5" square, and gave us this beauty to use as inspiration.  How fun!  I immediately began scouring flickr and the internet and this is what I came up with!

I have to admit I've never made a pinwheel block before!  I liked the fairly simplistic look of it, and I'm pleased with how it came out. 

I ended up having some of the exact colors Krista had sent along in my stash, so I couldn't resist making a second block. 

This is my favorite favorite block I think I have ever made, and am seriously contemplating making an entire quilt out of these.  In my flickr searching, I came across this tutorial from Christina at The Sometimes Crafter and decided that it was pinwheel-ish and that Krista needed to have it (I hope she likes it, well both of them!)

This block was also my first attempt at paper piecing...I think I'm hooked!  There will definitly be more paper piecing in my quilting future.

I hope Krista enjoys her blocks, I certainly had fun making them!